|A Corporation Is a “Person” for Purposes of a Trust|
Appeals court held that where a banking account was held “in trust” for The Salvation Army, it would be presumed that Florida law meant for “persons” named in such trust accounts to include corporations.
|Topic||Wills, Estates, and Trusts|
Estate; Trust; Beneficiary; Corporation; Person
|C A S E S U M M A R Y|
Belanger died intestate. He had two sons. One was appointed personal representative of his father’s estate. The deceased had a bank account held in his name with a pay-on-death clause that stated: “Richard J. Belanger, In Trust for The Salvation Army.” The Salvation Army was given the funds from the account by the bank. The estate sued, contending that the pay-on-death clause was invalid because it could only apply to a natural person, not to a corporation such as The Salvation Army. The district court dismissed the suit. The estate appealed.
Affirmed. Under Florida law, a corporation qualifies as a “person” permitted to be a lawful beneficiary of a pay-on-death account. The statute uses the word “person,” but that is generally interpreted at law to include corporations.
Belanger v. The Salvation Army, 556 F.3d 1153 (11th Cir., 2009)
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